STARKVILLE — Athletic trainers and strength coaches at Mississippi State aren’t only concerned in the summer with managing the football players’ weightlifting and conditioning sessions. They also plan trips to the local grocery stores. The Bulldogs appreciate their coaches and trainers care enough not only to tell them how to take care of their bodies, but also to show them.
The NCAA Eligibility Center has requested more documentation in the case of Mississippi State basketball signee Renardo Sidney. Sidney’s attorney, Donald Jackson, believes the request is an attempt by the Eligibility Center to prolong the investigation into Sidney’s amateur status that would keep him from getting on the court in a timely manner to play for the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State senior running back Anthony Dixon will return home today for a few hours. Dixon will be one of the Bulldogs who will attend the Central Mississippi Alumni Association “Summer Extravaganza” in Jackson.
Mississippi State softball player Chelsea Bramlett had a tough time measuring the correct temperature during her stay at the Canada Cup in Surrey, British Columbia. Bramlett pretty much had to guess the temperature after trying to convert Canada’s Celsius readings to Fahrenheit.
STARKVILLE — Sharon Fanning didn’t know where to begin. There was no official starting point for the Mississippi State women’s basketball coach because everything in the program’s new locker room in Humphrey Coliseum begged to bragged about and to be touched. There were murals, pictures, and plaques on the walls to honor former and current Lady Bulldogs.
STARKVILLE –– Mississippi State’s athletic department has encouraged its coaches and student-athletes to be visible throughout the community of Starkville. Many sports have followed through with that request from MSU Athletic Director Greg Byrne and the administration. The volleyball team takes advantage of one of those opportunities today. The Lady Bulldogs are scheduled to be at the multi-purpose facility at the Starkville Sportsplex from 1-3 p.m. and will volunteer their time to conduct a skills and drills teaching session for the Starkville Boys and Girls Club.
LUBBOCK, Texas — New inductees from the fourth class of the College Baseball Hall of Fame expressed gratitude Friday for long careers and for the people who helped them achieve college baseball’s highest honor. The Class, which included former Mississippi State coach Ron Polk and former Mississippi State outfielder Rafael Palmeiro, brought the Hall’s membership to 44. In addition to Polk and Palmeiro, the group includes outfielder Joe Carter and pitcher/designated hitter Darren Dreifort (Wichita State), pitcher Kirk Dressendorfer and catcher/utility Keith Moreland (Texas), shortstop Barry Larkin, Michigan; and second baseman Todd Walker (LSU).
STARKVILLE -- Dan Mullen’s idea of a vacation is being able to kick back on the beach and enjoy reading a good book. That’s what Mississippi State’s football coach tried to do as he and his family took a week off from football for a little rest and relaxation. It all changes when Mullen returns to Starkville later this week. He will trade in his novel for the playbook.
It has already taken quite a bit of time for the case regarding Renardo Sidney’s amateur status to develop. Donald Jackson, the attorney for the Mississippi State basketball signee, said something happened this week that could delay the process even further. Jackson recently learned through e-mail the NCAA has transferred all amateurism cases to the eligibility center, which means a new person will handle the case.
Mississippi State sophomore center D.J. Looney has his bags packed for a trip this month, but it’s not for a vacation. It’s for business. Looney will travel to Denver to meet with members of the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Looney was selected in Junee to represent the Southeastern Conference as a member of the committee.
Until the NCAA has had a chance to weigh all the facts concerning Mississippi State men’s basketball signee Renardo Sidney’s eligibilty, it will continue to be a “he said, he said” situation and MSU basketball coach Rick Stansbury appears to be staying out of it. Ever since Sidney signed with Mississippi State, there has been a question concerning his amateur status because of dealings with Reebok representatives, first with Sonny Viccaro and later with Chris Rivers.
STARKVILLE — Terms like Yahoo, Google, Twitter, and Facebook are entering the vocabulary of coaches on a more regular basis. Mississippi State has upgraded its Twitter capabilities in the past month, and its coaches have begun to realize they can use this technology to their advantage. The MSU athletic department consolidated its Twitter offerings so coaches and administrators who maintain Twitter accounts can be found at one location: mstateathletics.com.
STARKVILLE –– Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen is satisfied with how involved the members of his coaching staff are in the lives of the players. Mullen realizes neither he nor his assistant coaches can watch their players 24 hours a day, and that’s when self-discipline has to kick in. Mullen tries to instill in the Bulldogs every day the importance of being champions on and off the field.
STARKVILLE — Former Columbus High School offensive lineman Tobias Smith is going through offseason workouts at Mississippi State. Smith and the other Bulldogs coming back from injuries are happy about conditioning with little or no pain. Wide receiver Brandon McRae, running back Robert Elliott, tight end Marcus Green, and wide receiver O’Neal Wilder were all smiles Thursday exiting the Holliman Athletic Training Center. After breaking his left ankle in the first fall scrimmage of 2008 at MSU, Smith said he’s back to 100 percent. He credits the coaching staff, medical staff, and his family for helping him come back from the injury.
STARKVILLE — Sunday might be Father’s Day, but Saturday will be all about the women at Mississippi State. Mississippi State will play host to the Ladies Football Clinic, which will provide a wealth of information about football. Megan Mullen, the wife of Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen, believes the women who will participate will enjoy the experience.
Sharon Fanning feels blessed to be a part of the Mississippi State women’s basketball program. In 14 years as head coach, Fanning has won 233 games and has led the Lady Bulldogs to the postseason 10 times. This past season was one of the program’s best. MSU went 23-10 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Fanning was rewarded Thursday for the program’s success.
David Lane said former Mississippi State center fielder Grant Hogue canâ€™t get to Greeneville, Tenn., fast enough. Lane, the manager of the Greeneville Astros of the Appalachian League, believes Hogueâ€™s speed on the basepaths will make him an instant weapon when his team begins competition Tuesday.
STARKVILLE — There have been many changes to Mississippi State’s athletic landscape the past several months. The biggest deals with technology thanks to the installation of jumbotrons at Mississippi State’s football, baseball, and soccer stadiums. With those projects at or near completion, the focus at MSU has shifted to other needs.
STARKVILLE -- Greg Byrne paused last week to reflect on his first year as Mississippi State Athletic Director and he pointed to one specific thing that impressed him most. Since taking over the day-to-day operations of the Mississippi State athletic department on July 11, 2008, Byrne said it has been the people he works with who have made the transition a positive one. Byrne knew it would be difficult to replace a man like Larry Templeton, but said his approach and ideas have been well received.
STARKVILLE –– Ron Polk gave Grant Hogue an opportunity to play baseball at Mississippi State. Hogue built on that chance this season for first-year coach John Cohen. After transferring from Pearl River Community College and having two productive seasons at MSU, Hogue will take his talents to the next level. The Houston Astros selected Hogue in the 35th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Thursday.
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